The true origin of karate was in the Southern Chinese martial arts and Okinawa combat techniques. It is a fusion of both forms of art and was introduced in Japan in the year 1921. During that time karate was commonly known as “Te” (hand), a name used by the Okinawas. Later on it came to be known as “Tang hand” (Chinese Hand).
Before the Second World War, Japan started introducing karate as a subject in schools. Even soldiers in the army were trained in this form of martial arts. This was the period when different competitions and styles of karate started emerging.
If taught properly, one can obtain numerous benefits out of karate. Some of the major ones are:
* Physical workout: Karate helps to exercise the entire human body, thus making it a wonderful part of the entire physical fitness routine. Practicing this form of martial arts helps in providing cardiovascular and muscular benefits. It also helps in maintaining proper coordination, balance and endurance of the body. Beginning from kicks and stances to strikes and blocks, all muscles of the human body are strengthened and stretched. Whereas on the other hand, sparring and completing forms (also known as katas or hyungs) provide aerobic exercises to the body. Physical workout is one of the primary reasons behind numerous US children residing in cities like West Chester (PA) and Springfield (PA) wanting to join karate classes.
* Mental and Emotional benefits: Together with the body, karate also helps to work the mind. As karate students learn the different moves, traditions and forms at each belt level they are also taught focus, patience, respect, and discipline. These actually help participants to find peace and feel confident in life. This mental peace may often surprise family and friends to see a calmer and confident human being who was probably otherwise a restless person before.
* Transforms the spirit and soul: With regular discipline and practice, the physical, emotional, and mental benefits of karate, like balance, strength, and confidence transform into a spiritual awareness. Karate helps to merge the mental, the spiritual, and the emotional into an overall way of life. A person living his life this way stays alert to whatever happens around him. It has been noticed that a number of US citizens in cities like Ardmore (PA) and West Chester (PA) have found mental peace after regularly practicing karate.